So where to begin? Well, we kick things off pretty much where we left off. There was an imminent threat on the island that attacked Alex, Rousseau and Karl. (I guess we need to assume for now that Rousseau and Karl kicked the bucket, but I don't recall any confirmation in this episode. Did anyone else catch anything?). This sets Camp Lockeness in motion. Meanwhile, Jack and crew are still left hopeless waiting for word from the freighter (thank God that story looks like it's finally going somewhere!) And while all of this is going on, we see quite another side of Benjamen Linus in what seemed like a TREK to the future but justified by Ben as a flash forward. That crazy Ben may even lie to the audience too! Yikes! And drama ensues as always....let's dig in!
Camp Shephard and the Stomach Pains (better band name than Driveshaft?)
We begin our tale on a shot of a calm ocean. Kate is rolling her shirt down to show off her shoulders to Jack. Yeah Jaters get excited! Jack smiles but then reveals he's taking some antibiotics to kill a stomach bug he's been having. Well, I was starting to think if the Time-hopping wasn't the "SICKNESS" that Rousseau's crew had, then maybe Jack was getting it. However, previews for next week suggest otherwise. (Have I mentioned how I cannot resist previews but sometimes hate them???) But just when you think Kate is going to make Jack some chicken soup and they're going to fall in loooooooove, naturally a dead body comes ashore!
- Who is it? Why it's the DOC from the freighter with a slit throat! Daniel makes another reference to time being a factor but then Charlotte quickly stops him again.
- Daniel decides to be all Sayid-like and fix the SAT phone to be able to transmit messages to the freighter a la Morse Code. To make a long story short, Daniel fixes the phone and transmits a message "What happened to the doc?" he receives a very long message back and pretty much just said the "helicopters" are bringing your friends back. Well, at least Bernard decided to make yet another Rose-less appearance this week to reveal to us he knows Morse Code! Because what the message really said was "What are you talking about? The Doc is fine!!" Okay, here's 2 questions....who on the freighter knows Morse Code now that their communications guy is dead? And WHAT???? Doc is soooo dead on the island but alive on the freighter? Is someone pulling our chain or is there definite Time-differentials going on here? This would seem to imply that the BODY (not just the mind) can appear in different times too. And it kinda makes me like the theory going around that when the Oceanic 6 make their return, they will come to the island possibly in the PAST and be the people hiding in the Temple, and the ones Whispering in the jungle the past 4 seasons, AND might just be the ones that bring 10 year old Walt to the island and allow him to grow and become a teenager in a few months time! But of course, this is all speculation, and it is based on lots of our 175 comments the past 5 weeks and EW's Doc Jensen's ramblings. But with dead Doc showing up on island but being alive and well on the freighter, just seems to make this BILL AND TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE/ Harry Potter 3 scenario possible!
- Okay but besides all of that, how about WHINY JACK returning??? When it's in small doses, I kinda dig it! But season 3? A little too much whiny jack! But he went off on Daniel this week and asked if they were ever planning on rescuing the 815 survivors? The answer? No man, Locke and Ben were totally right. You are so going to grow a beard in a few years and try to jump off a bridge! And then enter the stomach pains getting worse and worse. Looks like Jack is going down for the count, and in case you didn't watch the preview I won't spoil why (for now).
We open this storyline with Alex's captors taking her to the Sonic Fence and asking her to enter the code. This triggers the Bat Phone in Ben's house which Locke answers. "Code 14J.......CODE 14J!!!!" They ponder for 5 minutes then go ask Ben what it is....then we start our roller coaster ride of a thriller! Ben cries "They're here!!!" and yours truly realizes how dumb he was at the end of episode 8 "Meet Kevin Johnson."
- In my defense, I am taking notes an entire episode and then waking up at 6am to get to work on these things! So sometimes not putting together the most obvious things is where I look to our fabulous readers to help me out! I am sorry for steering everyone wrong suggesting that Alex/Rousseau/Karl's attackers may have been the "STEALTHY OTHERS" that have seemed to all but disappear (I still want to know what that was all about though!). No, it was way more obvious. We saw Keamy in Michael's flashback shooting at Clay pigeons with a machine gun and quite enjoying himself. We also see Keamy and Frank getting ready for a mission to the island. And then we start seeing people getting sniped on the island after Ben suggested they were coming to kill everyone. How I did not put together that Keamy was Alex's captor is beyond me! But I was quickly corrected in the comments of episode 8's blog. So thanks for keeping me on my toes readers!
- Anyway, Ben gets in defensive mode and tries to get Hurley, Sawyer, Aaron and Locke to join him in his house and to barricade it. But Sawyer isn't going without Claire! The all get their GUNS ON and get moving.
- So you gotta love the random survivors (which we'll refer to as RED-SHIRTS, just like Boone did while referring to Star Trek in season 1) that went with Locke's crew that just show up and get these one-liners in right before they get shot by Team Keamy!
- You also have to laugh at how Sawyer was only concerned with getting Claire when there when these red-shirts seemingly have been on the island just as long as all the other survivors. But alas, they all get left behind! Unless we're to assume there were only 2 other people and they both were killed!
- Oh, I have to interrupt my own story here...how about Locke, Sawyer and Hurley playing Risk at the beginning of the episode? While it was totally predictable that this is what they were doing should we be looking into Hurley's comment "Australia is key to the whole game" (naturally, I'm paraphrasing)?
- Back to the story! There's guns ablazin everywhere, Sawyer is shooting back. Thankfully, Keamy's crew has the aim of your average Storm Trooper. But they do blow up a House and somehow avoid killing Claire. Sawyer rescues her. Have to love how unconscious Claire mentioned Charlie. Our first Post-Strike episode indicating that the writers acknowledge Claire seemingly getting over Charlie so quickly. This was a nice touch.
- And after Hurley finishes his make-shift crib for Aaron out of a pillow and laundry basket (awwwww) he finds time to break a window against Ben's orders to get Sawyer and Claire inside.
- And of course Miles rings the doorbell and they just let him in. He's got a walkie talkie, announces they have Alex...and the negotiations begin.
- Ben and Keamy have a standoff, Ben mentions everything he knows about Keamy. His name is Martin, he's an ex-marine but joined some mercenary forces and he is clear to mention an infamous stint in Uganda. Hmmm perhaps a flashback coming up in that category?
- Keamy has a gun to Alex's head but Ben tries to call his bluff and starts ranting off how Alex means nothing to him, a bargaining chip at best. He kidnapped her from a crazy lady when she was an infant. yada yada yada......BANG. Alex falls to the ground. "He changed the rules!! TO THE BAT CAVE ROBIN!" (RIP Alex by the way, totally did not see that coming)
- Ben runs to his secret room but then reveals another secret. There is some ancient cave behind another wall with some hieroglyphics on it. Analyze to your delight!
- My initial thought was he went on a time traveling adventure (that we see in his flash) but then I realized I was just being silly. He wasn't wearing a DHARMA Parka from the Orchid station, duh!! (more on that in a bit). It turns out he wasn't being completely honest when he told Locke that he didn't know anything about the smoke monster. Apparently, he has the ability to summon it and possibly to command it! I wonder if he was ALWAYS behind Smokey's appearances? Probably not as he makes reference to Jacob later (who has all the answers).
- Anyway, Smokey arrives in grand fashion plowing through OTHERSVILLE (newly dubbed Camp Lockeness!) and taking care of the Freighter Mercenaries (well most of them, as we see in the previews yet again, someone made it out of there). But the producers promised every time we see smokey, we'll see a new aspect of it. Well the train-like motion that it entered with was pretty crazy as well as the flashing lights all throughout the smoke. While it took on a different shape, I believe Ben summoning it is the big reveal this time. Whatever it was, it was totally cool. This is the first time, Smokey also was used to HELP our survivors rather than be used against them. Check out below and analyze to your delight!
- We see Ben say goodbye to Alex. Pretty touching stuff. Crazy kidnapping Ben actually shows emotion!
- Okay so next move for the Locke/Ben brain trust? They need to seek out Jacob and need Hurley to find him (because he saw the shack in the season premiere).
- Sawyer has finally had enough and he wants to take Claire, Aaron and Chicken Little (had to get the new Hurley nickname in at some point!) back to the beach. SKATERS get excited! Jaters beware!
- Revision: WHOOPS! Miles goes with Sawyer's crew too
- Locke and Sawyer get in a stand-off over Hurley. Not wanting to cause trouble (and possibly intrigued by Jacob), Hurley decides to stay with Ben and Locke. And thus, Team Locke is disbanded and any remaining Red-Shirts that were with them are totally unaccounted for! (I guess they're only there when it's convenient for the show!)
- We're off to see the Wizard...the wonderful wizard of.... Stay Tuned!
Okay, so this was one crazy FLASH of something for Ben! We open up with him in the middle of the Sahara Desert decked out in a Dharma Parka. From Ben's behavior, it seems that he was just placed there, kinda like transported!
- Lots to discuss here. For instance, why a PARKA? Was he in a cold location prior to his relocation? Is it related to our friends in the arctic at the end of season 2?
- How about that Logo? Is it the logo of the long-discussed ORCHID STATION? (if you haven't seen the Orchid Video teaser for season 4 yet, you better do some brushing up! Click here)
- I forgot to mention the parka reveals the name Hallowax, referring to Dr. Edgard Hallowax, another alias for Dr. Marvin Candle of DHARMA Video fame. It is the name he uses in said Orchid Video, further tying it all together.
- The Orchid Station is rumored to play a key role in the events leading to the finale. And it also seems to play a key role in time travel, displayed by the Bunny appearing out of nowhere. Hmmm kinda like Ben appeared in the Sahara Desert (which we later realize he's near Tunisia). Hmmm kinda like a DHARMA Polar Bear was found in the middle of the desert and seemed to have been there for many many many many years to decay the way it did. Hmmm and Polar Bears come from cold climates too, just like Ben appeared to have come from with his Parka! Are we all making the connection here yet folks? Are you starting to believe my rants that there might be some TIME PORTAL into Tunisia off the island? And if this is true, is there one close to Nigeria and one in the Indian Ocean too?
- Ben gets captured by some members of Al Qaeda (well I don't know who they really were but they didn't look friendly!) And he shows that he is not just Island-lying Ben. He's BENJAMEN "Jason" BOURNE! He showed those crazy gun wielding crazies who was boss and totally took control of the situation. Who IS this guy??? Ben takes the horse and rides into the sunset.
- He gets to Tozeur, Tunisia revealing that he has been there before (long before). But then he interestingly asks the year. October 24th, 2005 (one year, 1 month and 2 days after the 815 crash). So the question is, has it really been that long for Ben? It would seem from later events that the death of Alex is very fresh in his head during this "venture." Perhaps when the Oceanic 6 are getting off of the island, we'll see Ben venturing to this Orchid station and finding his way off the island as well to prepare for the LOST End Game. All speculation naturally!
- While he is in Tunisia, he sees Sayid on TV (due to his Oceanic 6 fame) whose wife has just died. Well we got our answer to Sayid finding Nadia kids. He sure does and they lived in Los Angeles for a little while before one of Widmore's goons killed Nadia.
- Naturally, this leads to a meeting in Iraq for Ben and Sayid for the Nadia funeral. Sayid runs after Ben and rants about people spying on him! (probably a reference to whoever is sponsoring this Oceanic 6 campaign) Once realizing it is Ben he asks how Ben gets off the island (further going to my theory that Ben was going to Orchid station in parallel to the Oceanic 6 getting off the island. This confirms Ben did not hitch a ride with the Oceanic 6)
- Ben gives the story that he used Desmond's sailboat following a bearing to Fiji. Very plausible since he was very persistent on getting Desmond's boat in season 3, except for the whole snowglobe thing with Desmond trying to leave the island. It would seem that bearing 305 is the only way off (but we still didn't see HOW Michael and Walt found rescue). I dunno, Ben lies all the time and this would seem to be another case. What does he gain by lying to Sayid? No clue.
- Anyway, long story short Ben tracks down Nadia's killer who is a Widmore goon. He wanted to deliver a message to Widmore but Sayid ended up unloading his gun onto the assassin. Sayid complains about his 8 year search for Nadia, finding her marrying her and then her getting killed. His life is over and now wants to go for Widmore too. Thus, we get our Sayid/Ben connection. And Ben gets Sayid a hair straightener. He says he'll be in touch, which we must assume leads to Sayid's eventual flashforward. Of course, in that flash it seemed like he is feeling pressured by Ben to complete these tasks. I can only assume it took its toll on Sayid because he developed feelings for his target.
- We then follow Ben to London where he keys his way into Charles Widmore's penthouse and see the 1st meeting of the minds (well, for the audience. it would seem these 2 have known each other for quite some time).
- Charles seemed to be expecting Ben. He said that he started sleeping with Scotch by the bed (McCutcheon' again). He responded "When the Nightmares started." Immediately I made the connection. Charles has been to the island before! And then I started to think more. Wait, Jack started drinking after the island, his father was an alcoholic. Could they be suffering from similar nightmares? Is this further proof that Christian Shephard was also an island dweller previously? This also seems to indicate that Charles knew Desmond was island bound when he went on the sailing race and that he knew what was going on with Desmond at the auction. Perhaps he wanted to keep Desmond and Penny in touch because he knew Desmond was the only chance at keeping Penny alive? (hmm more on that in a few)
- Charles claims that the island was HIS before it was Ben's. It seems like these two used to be acquaintances. Maybe Charles Widmore is the backer of DHARMA (as previously pondered) and is pretty P.O.'d at Ben for participating in the PURGE of the DHARMA folk. It would explain them knowing about the Tempest Station and wanting to dismantle it. But would Widmore claim ownership of the island over the island natives?
- Basically Ben's visit to Charles came down to one thing, he accuses Charles of killing Alex. Charles insists Ben did it to himself. Ben references the RULE CHANGING again. What rules??? Ben has become determined to find Penny Widmore and kill her so that Charles can share in the pain. Charles claims Ben will never find Penny. Ben claims Charles will never find the island. THE HUNT IS ON!
Okay, well let me be the first to say, while I love the character of Ben, they better not go near actually killing Penny! I'm a realist, the chance of LOST having a happy ending for everyone is slim to none. But come on! DEZ and Penny MUST have a happy ending! All of the viewers are invested in their eventual reunion! I wouldn't be too upset if these events set up the eventual Desmond/Ben stand-off. Of course, Jack/Ben standoffs are a good time too! Who knows what's gonna go down on this crazy show? We have 39 more hours to go!
I'm going to skip the Coffin Watch for this week, but I'm going to suggest that it's NOT Ben at this point. It could be due to possible time differences between him working with Sayid and Bearded Suicidal Jack going to the funeral. But I just don't see Ben being dead before the Oceanic 6 head back to the Island. Of course Ben possibly being dead in one time period, doesn't mean he couldn't still be alive in another, case in point...FREIGHTER DOC! I still am leaning towards Michael. But we shall see! I guess I didn't skip the Coffin Watch!
That's it LOSTIES! Hope you enjoyed my ramblings as much as I enjoyed writing them! Please comment away with your thoughts. I won't be around much today, but will try to catch up tomorrow! See you next week!